Monday, June 6, 2011

Pink Katydid

Walking on Golden Prairie* with the "Fishin Magicians," Amy spotted this little guy, a first for us.  This isn't a product of Photoshop or spray paint.   This is actually an unusual color variant of a round-headed katydid.

This katydid, or bush-cricket, is also called the Oblong-Winged katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia).  The pink form of this typically lime green katydid was first described in 1887, and is said to occur in one out of every 500 individuals.  Even more rarely they may be tan or brown.  It is apparently a genetic variant as the New Orleans Audubon Insectarium bred a pink male and pink female, producing pink babies.  Because of their rarity, this isn't as likely to occur in the wild.

There are no other known abnormalities in pink katydids.  This condition, called erythrism, is similar to the recessive gene present in albino animals.  They are probably less likely to survive to adulthood, given their loss of camouflage.

Other Pink Insects

*We were at the Missouri Prairie Foundation's Bioblitz, a two day biological extravaganza with expert guides and teachers for each category.  Six chapters of Missouri Master Naturalists were represented.  Don't miss next year's event.

1 comment:

  1. Well, this is cool. I was looking for images of plain ol' green katydids in MO, to try to speciate an example (just molted) that I photographed in Franklin County MO at Shaw Nature Reserve.
    Nancy Phillips, St. Louis MO